February 2, 2023
We are thrilled to announce that Michael Chiago by Michael Chiago Sr. and Amadeo M. Rea is the winner of a 2023 Southwest Books of the Year Award! Southwest Books of the Year considers titles published during the calendar year that are about Southwest subjects, or are set in the Southwest.
Here’s what one of the judges, Lydia Otero, had to say about the book:
“Self-taught artist Michael Chiago bases his paintings on the O’odham practices he witnessed and his conversations with elders about a past that preceded him. Born in 1946, he grew up on the reservation and started drawing when he was sent away to boarding school. One cannot help but appreciate the intricate details in each painting of the desert people, landscapes, plants and animal life. Reprinted in color, each of his paintings provide a treasure trove of insights into the O’odham people and their lives in the Sonoran Desert. Co-author Amadeo M. Rea incorporates words and phrases from the O’odham language in his descriptions of Chiago’s work that provide additional context and further enhance the visual experience. As an O’odham artist, Chiago’s art offers a rare indigenous perspective that makes this book a must-read for those interested in the history and ethnography of the Sonoran Desert.”—Lydia R. Otero
Congratulations, Michael and Amadeo!